Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Breaking the Wishbone Theory

After Thanksgiving, we dissected out the wishbone and dutifully gave it to our two eldest kids to snap.

You know the deal. Whoever gets the bigger half is gifted with a wish that will come true. (Which I have other issues with, by the way. I mean, thirty years later, I still can't fly like Superman. What's up with that?)

I digress. Anyway, I steeled myself for comforting the loser. After all, life is about all kinds of losses, right? In the words of large-mouthed English rockers, you can't always get what you want.

Anywho, they gritted their teeth and pulled. And this is what happened:


One of the "arms" got broken after the fact, but in essence, the two sides were equal. I was thrilled. And then I had a wishbone epiphany.

Why should one person's dream be at the cost of another's?

It shouldn't.

Which brings me back to writing and the machine that is the publishing world. We hear weekly about our writing friends' good fortune. A book sold, an agent snagged, a new novel e-pubbed with the masses downloading quickly in the nanoseconds of a mouse click.

But. This shouldn't take away from our own hopes and aspirations. Because I think the Wishbone Theory sucks. Our own hopes don't need to be lessened by the success of others.

Maybe we should have a "Wishbone Chucking" ceremony after Thanksgiving, to toast to hopes and wishes.

All in favor, say, "Chuck away!"

Two last notes. Don't forget to join my 500's Followers Contest that ends Friday. Last chance for one of four gift cards at your local bookstore!


And do stop by Laura's blog today for this week's Sisterhood Blogpost on social media: what's your poison?

54 comments:

Susan Fields said...

You're so right - that's one thing I love about this blogging community - everyone is so supportive of the success of others! I like the idea of a "wishbone chucking" ceremony. :)

Laura Pauling said...

And it is so important to remember this and we cheer on our fellow writers!

lbdiamond said...

Hey, this is a super awesome way to think about things. I do hang out with the green-eyed monster when I see other peoples' success. (Who doesn't?) At the same time, I am esctatic for them and it also makes me redouble my efforts to someday join them! :D

Tracy said...

I have long since given up on wishbones & shooting stars. There's only so many times a girl can not have her wish granted before she learns investing in her own personal genie is the only way to go. ;o)

I agree completely about there being enough to go around. I always hate that slight twinge of jealousy that tags along just behind being stoked to hear of another writer/blogger's good fortune.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Love the post, Lydia. There is no need to envy someone's success as there is enough happiness and opportunities going around.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Excellent. I've never seen a wishbone do that. Your kids are already very lucky. (And not just because of the miracle wishbone incident.) To have a mom who can teach them their wishes don't have to depend on anyone else is the best. =o)

Clara said...

Chuck away! This was a brilliant post Lydia! What a curious case about the wishbone, Ive never seen it do that either!
Again, brilliant lesson and post!

Kelly said...

Wow! Look at that wishbone!
Hurray for me, for you, and our fellow writers! I love this supportive writing community.

Connie said...

"Chuck away!"

I do think the ceremony should include a glass of champagne.

Paul S said...

That wishbone chucking ceremony is a great idea, I think I'll introduce that at the family christmas dinner.

Mohamed Mughal said...

True - life is not a zero-sum game.

E.J. Wesley said...

I'd 'Chuck Away!' but my dogs would find it and probably get choked. Then I'd have this mess to clean up ... I guess that might involve THEIR dreams coming true.

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. is better with champagne, btw.

Angela Felsted said...

Yeah, jealousy is an ugly emotion. I find I'm happier when I'm happy for other people.

Carol Kilgore said...

My sister and I used to do the wishbone thing. Trouble was we could never remember if the long end or the short end won. So both of us always thought we won.

Deb Salisbury said...

I love the idea of a "Wishbone Chucking" ceremony, but there's no turkey at my house. :-)

Olga said...

I am thrilled to be in the company of writers. I'm more of an image person than a word person, but writers do need fans, don't they?

Yat-Yee said...

Chuck away!
So right. I've always hated the spirit of competitiveness that permeates our society. Sure there are inbuilt competition due to scarcity. But do we really have to add to it, especially in the guise of teaching kids? "Who's going to be the first to finish his homework?" "Who has the cleanest room?"

Rant over.

LTM said...

wooow. Awesome deep thoughts from the wishbone, L~ :D LOVE it!

Old Kitty said...

"Chuck Away!" Say I!

Take care
x

Colene Murphy said...

Yes! Please chuck! As happy as you can be for someone elses success there is always that twang of sadness for yourself. No matter how gracious and sincere you are for that other person. And I am all for chucking away that feeling!

Laura Eno said...

Chuck away! There's no reason why we can't all win.

Bathwater said...

Are here I was hoping you were going to tell us where that wishbone tradition started anyway.

Valerie Geary said...

Mmm... I love this post. I'm going to snuggle with it a while if you don't mind.

KarenG said...

My mom always said that we don't fill our own balloons by popping someone else's so that is kind of like the equal wishbone theory. Loved this post!

Donea Lee said...

"Chuck away!" Wonderful thought here! It really just feels so much better to join in the happiness and support the success of fellow writers, rather than stew in jealousy. Sometimes hard, but SOOO much better!! Love it!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Beautiful post :) there really is no such thing as competition as we're all quite different in styles and tastes *grin* there's always something for everyone!

BirthRight The Arrival, on Amazon 1.1.11
www.damselinadirtydress.com

Magan said...

The wishbone was banned at Thanksgiving after it snapped and poked my cousin in the eye one year... Take that Karma!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Such a beautiful way of looking at it. I definitely say Chuck Away! Thanks for sharing!

The Golden Eagle said...

Wishbone chucking--a perfect way of putting it! And one of the great things about blogging is that so many people are supportive; when you're up, when you're down, they're there. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's an excellent sentiment! Besides, our goals are all different - there's room for everyone's dream.

Heather said...

I completely agree, let's chuck the wishbone theory! I think that with each wish that comes true it increases the chances of the next one coming true!

Sondrae Bennett said...

Chuck Away! And I agree with what Alex said above: There's room for everyone's dream. What a nice sentiment!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Excellent theory and I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think one person's success makes the pool smaller for everyone else. It's one more link in an ever expanding network of success.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I have never had that happen with a wishbone. It’s kinda cool.

Melissa said...

Chuck away! One persons wish coming true doesn't mean that yours (or mine) still can't!

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Krispy said...

I like the way you think. I've never done the wish bone thing. Don't know what ever happens to it...

Meredith said...

Hehe, chuck away! Thanks for the reminder, Lydia!

Liza said...

Similar sentiments from Joyce Carol Oats quoted on my most recent post. Just because others are successful it does not mean we are not.

The Red Angel said...

This is a great post, Lydia. I definitely agree...that's what I love about being a part of the blogosphere actually. Everyone is really friendly, encouraging and supportive of their fellow bloggers. I can see why some would feel resentful or envious, but if anything, hearing somebody's good fortune should make others feel inspired and more hopeful about their own futures!

Love the wishbone idea!

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Katie Gates said...

I agree! Chuck away! There should be room in this universe for all of our wishes...

Madeleine said...

My lovely dad always liked to pull the wishbone. Let's hope it meant that both wishes came true. :O)

Charli Mac said...

The wishbone is still on my drain board. I am terrified I won't get my wish. I've had a terrible run with form rejections. LOL. But if I lose than I can blame it on the bone and not the industry...hmm...

Stephen Tremp said...

I love Blogdom because its an open source of sorts. Kinda like Lenux compared to Miccrosoft and Apple. Good luck on 500 followers! That's quite a milestone.

Jonene Ficklin said...

Hear! Hear! And chuck away. And here's a great link to a video to raise your spirits when you feel like a failure:

http://thescribblerscove.blogspot.com/2010/11/rejected-and-dejected.html

Anonymous said...
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Slamdunk said...

I am all in favor of a wishbone chucking event. Good message Lydia.

ed pilolla said...

what a fabulous message from the wishbone gods. in this world, whoever grabs more wins. that's what we're taught. that's just a part of our psyche, as installed by our culture. but our creative endeavors, whatever they may be, i wonder if they are simply means to self discovery. and part of the process, the test of creating better art and learning about ourselves is genuinely being happy for others' success while we persevere.
nice post. you got me thinkin'...

Jai Joshi said...

I agree that one person's success should never be seen as the lessening of another person's dream. We can all be successful, each in our own way.

Jai

Jennie Bailey said...

Chuck away! We don't do turkey, but I'll toss out the wishbone in my mind. I think this is the perfect analogy. You are so right!

notesfromnadir said...

I really like this story -- both came out equal!

I also liked your description of "large-mouthed English rockers" as it's very apt!

The Words Crafter said...

I agree, chuck away!!!!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Okay, catching up on posts here, but I had to comment. You made me all teary eyed!! What a wonderful point. We have to continue to support each other, because that's what makes this community so amazing!

Lydia said...

I absolutely refuse to snap the wishbone with my husband because it brings back horrid memories of my little sister and me being handed that thing each year, and of her getting a thumb a bit higher for a better grip (I suspected) or having better luck altogether (I feared), and of her always always winning. It is a horrible tradition, you are right! I appreciated the way you tied the phenomenon in with the writing success of others, etc.

Kept seeing this other Lydia's name out there on blogrolls and should have stopped by sooner to say hello! (Lydia is my middle name and the one I use for blogging....and my own hopes for an eventual 200 followers will not be lessened by the fact that you are zooming toward 600!)

 
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